Spring Retreat 2023
Northumberland with Anne Kelly April 20-28, 2023
Cherry blossoms fill the air of leafy Edinburgh, and daffodils nod their golden heads in fields full of bouncing lambs! These are our inspirations when we imagined this retreat - and we invite you to join us. We're exploring the stunning capital city of Scotland in its most beautiful season, sketching, making, and interpreting the spirit of place.
Then, our journey takes us to the verdant English countryside of Northumberland, where picturesque villages dot the rolling hills and the living landscape (both rugged and gentle) and creatures of this realm will touch your heart and inspire your art.
Throughout the week, we'll be visiting some of our favorite scenery in our own, carefully curated way - with plenty of time for tea and cakes!
We start our journey with a day in Edinburgh - a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll have a VIP greeting at the airport with a kilted Scotsman, who will whisk you away to the city! We'll wander the jumbled cobblestones in this quirky, ancient city that has inspired artists and writers for generations.
Later, you’ll sip with a glass of wine with us, and experience our grand opening dinner, celebrating your arrival with tales from Scotland’s bard, and the skirl of the pipes.
We’ll go Sketch Strolling with Jane Bumar along the undiscovered Royal Mile. As we wander, we'll learn artful techniques for creating a time machine in your mind, incorporating gentle mindfulness and an eye for detail. An Edinburgh resident, Jane will share her love for the city's rich history and quirky details. During class, we learn to not only 'see' as artists, but fully engage all our senses, and document our explorations.
Jane is an urban sketcher with a background in mixed media and collage, and a former professional writer and instructional designer. Her drawings have recently been published in a collaborative book Edinburgh, One Drawing at a Time. She prefers drawing in pen, on location, and is always working on perfecting her gothic arches!
We wander via our private char-a-bánc (the British call it a ‘sharrabang’!) which will transport us to historic Northumberland and enchanted Scottish Borders. Our tour partner, Brian from Personal Tours of Scotland will regale us with tales of history in a narrated journey, providing perspective and wonder as thousands of years of history roll by.
Brian has lived in six counties, and visited over 100, but his favorite country is his home - Scotland. He has worked in the travel and tourism industries for 35 years as a former holiday rep, a Flight Attendant in Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic Airways and the Emir of Qatar's private jets and owned a hotel. His favorite job, though, is tour guiding families and friends in bespoke tours of Scotland!
Evenings become lighter as the world warms and awakens from winter's slumber - but heads become sleepy from days spent outdoors enjoying the pure air and pristine landscapes. We’re staying in our own private accommodations, with dreams of sheep in the nearby fields to lull you to sleep in this green and pleasant land.
As artists ourselves, we also know that less is more, so you are always welcome to relax and craft at our lodgings, taking your day at your own pace. We encourage you to curate your own experience of our days together, with quiet respect for nurturing your needs.
During our retreat, you will be led in workshops with UK based textile artist Anne Kelly. Anne is an award-winning artist, author and tutor. Her multi-layered and densely stitched textiles have been described as ‘small worlds’. Trained in Canada and at Goldsmiths College in London, she creates wall hangings and objects using a mixture of mixed media collage and hand and machine embroidery. Her inspirations are taken from travel, memory, nature and especially folk art.
Anne tutors and teaches fine art and textiles to a variety of groups in the UK and
abroad. and is a member of the Embroiderers Guild UK, the Crafts Council Directory and the Society for Embroidered Work. She also exhibits and curates group exhibitions nationally and internationally. Her four books for Batsford are widely collected and studied by students of all ages around the world.
Day trips bring inspiration at its most abundant as we show you our favorite spots: a mysterious chapel with links to Knights Templar (and the Holy Grail!), ruined abbeys with their tumbledown tombstones nestled in wildflowers. Gorgeous walled gardens, with flowers cascading over steps and topiary hedges to frame our views. Craggy coastlines with sheep nipping at the sea-salt tinged grass, fishing villages with ice creams that you can savor. Lakes, daffodils nodding in the breeze – it’s all here, and we’re going to experience it.
While you're relaxing at our boutique property, you'll stitch textile botanicals with Summer Kiser in her new exclusive class, Awakening. Summer’s gentle guidance will lead your thoughts towards lengthening days, and the warmth of the sun as it coaxes flowers from the earth. In this way too, you awaken in your own life and dream for fresh horizons.
At the end of the week you'll assemble the memories of your journey into a Box of Wonder. Summer's approachable process combines time-honored craft traditions with a new way of telling your unique story, in a creative, colorful and unexpected way.
Summer is a fiber artist, quilter, clothing designer, and shepherdess. She also dabbles in watercolor and mixed media, but mostly considers herself that best of all things - a maker.
We’ll say farewell to our magical week by taking the scenic route home - a final wander through quaint villages and and seaside vistas as we make our way back to Scotland's Capital City.
Our tour ends with Guests alighting at your choice of Edinburgh's airport hotels, or the city center if your journeys continue in the beautiful country of Scotland. Memories made, hearts full, and imagination re-kindled - on to journeys new!
- Eight nights accommodations in a selection of carefully chosen, historic properties.
- A variety of meals including all breakfasts, daily happy hours with wine and nibbles, a few lunches and most dinners.
VIP pickup and transfer from Edinburgh Airport. Our tour begins and ends in Edinburgh
Touring with a thoughtful mix of experiences all conducted by our professional Tour Guide from Personal Tours of Scotland, LLC. Touring services include our own luxury private vehicle, narration of what we are seeing to understand the sights of this ancient land in context, all route planning and navigation, vehicle insurance, fuel, and of course, water and snacks along the way. So freeing!
Some days are full of sightseeing, whilst taking into account our unique needs as artists. Even on these days, we stop and smell the roses.
Other days are a blend of classes, individual crafting and exploration time, or tour excursions – balance is key! We guarantee you will feel and experience the sights of this wonderful country, but also have time for your creative practices.
Note: Our planned program may be subject to change depending on weather and wandering inclinations.
All classes and workshops.
A special gift bag to commemorate your adventure.
A selection of supplies needed for your classes. Our instructor will also provide a list of recommended supplies.
SHARED ROOM $3,875
To enhance your experience, we keep our groups small. We welcome a maximum of 12 attendees
Ready to come wandering with us?
Click here to request registration information.